Jan. 21 (UPI) -- British scientists conducting a long term study found a link between exposure to the popular weed killer Roundup and severe liver damage in test rats.
The study, published in the journal Nature, was completed at King's College London, where researchers concluded even in "extremely low doses," rats exposed to Roundup through their drinking water developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, over a two-year period.
NAFLD can lead to increased risk of more serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, denied the research is accurate and insisted the product poses no risk to humans.
Glyphosate, the main chemical compound in Roundup, has been termed a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization.
While some scientists cautioned there is not sufficient evidence to prove glyphosate poses a risk to human health, scientists at King's College London urged further study and a cautious approach by regulators until more can be proven.
"Regulators worldwide accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health risks," said Robin Mensage, a research associate who helped conduct the study. "Therefore, the results of this latest study may have serious consequences for human health, and thus warrant careful consideration by regulatory agencies and further investigation by toxicologists."